Geronimo Shot Bar in Tokyo

Your mellow evening in Tokyo can turn chaotic in one shot.

There is a part of Tokyo known as Roppongi, where a lot of young foreigners hang out and a lot of partying goes on. My guidebook put it best…”For better or for worse, here’s to decadence, here’s revelry, here’s to Roppongi.” Somewhere around our third night in Tokyo, we moved hotels from Shinjuku to Roppongi. We had some dinner and wandered by a shot bar called ‘Geronimo,’ where we stopped for a drink. Geronimo ended up being a catalyst for quite a few different stories, but I’ll just tell the story of the first night, which will explain the photo…

Geronimo has, of course, a bit of a Native American theme to it, including a small gong above the bar. If you want to be a chief, you can ring the gong and buy everyone in the bar a shot of your choice. It took Ben about 2 and a half seconds to decide that he was going to ring the gong, which he did. There were about 30 people in the bar, and although his first gong ring was not chief-like, his second gong ring caused an eruption of cheers from the bar. The bartenders start lining up the shots, Ben is instant celebrity, and a girl named Monique from Australia and her guy friend from the UK sit down on either side of us. Everyone does their shots and we all drink for another hour or so, after which we all leave for another bar. Roppongi Crossing is a big Times Square-type intersection which we walk across before we realize that it’s freezing cold and Monique is only wearing a t-shirt. She forgot her jacket in the bar and runs back to get it. Another guy has joined us, so now there’s the 4 of us standing on the corner waiting for Monique. The UK guy points to a bum passed out in the middle of street and says (verbatim), “Haha, look at that a**hole. We should get him out of the road.

As he gets closer, we all realize that it’s actually Monique, who has drunkenly stepped right into traffic and gotten nailed by a Japanese couple driving home from dinner. She is already picking herself off the ground, and her shoe is missing. She seems to be fine, and when the UK guy asks what happened, she tells him (again verbatim), “I don’t know, ask Ben.” The girl had no clue that she had been hit by a car, but she remembered Ben’s name. Cool. OK, so someone finds her shoe halfway down the intersection and now there are police, paramedics in blue jumpsuits, her two friends, Ben, and the couple that hit her standing in a big bunch. Monique and the two friends just want to leave, so they keep trying to walk away. The police (who don’t speak any English) won’t grab her, but they keep blocking her exit down the street so they can write a report. I am standing on the corner observing all this, and it looks like a big swarm of bees randomly wandering round and round one corner of the intersection. Finally, a police supervisor shows up and is more than happy to just let everyone go their merry way. Monique and her two friends wander down the road (she’ll feel that in the morning), Ben and I…where else – back to Geronimo.

Want to do it?
You can find Geronimo at  7-14-10 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032 or http://www.geronimoshotbar.com